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The Red Badge of Courage (1895)

by Stephen Crane

Other authors: Carl Van Doren

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,018120609 (3.43)335
In the spring of 1863, while engaged in the fierce Civil War battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia, a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.
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» See also 335 mentions

English (116)  Spanish (3)  French (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
It's no Joseph Conrand but still a frantic little novel you can read in a sitting that is decent in getting its point across. ( )
  galuf84 | Jul 27, 2022 |
All I can remember now is it was about the Civil War and some deserter but it was really an antiwar novel. I always associated most antiwar novels from this era with hippies, or at least hippie-like teachers, which I associated with the antiwar movement. I didn't much like the 60s or the early 70s or the antiwar movement unless it meant keeping my worthless ass out of the draft somehow since I'm basically a coward. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Stephen Crane's use of words is devastating. He puts words together in ways that you didn't think possible. 'Tattered soldier' and 'youthful summer' are just two of the many examples. His effective writing brings to life the atmosphere of the battlefield. You can almost hear all the bombing and gunshots as you read the book. Crane also depicts well Henry's frame of mind - fear, relief, pride, and condescension, and how all these states could change so rapidly depending on external circumstances. You will notice that at the end of several chapters, Crane always ends with the sun shining through. Even on a battlefield, there is always hope and cheer. ( )
  siok | May 29, 2022 |
I feel like I haven't much to say about this one, which makes me sorry for generations of students who studied it and had to squeeze this novel dry of whatever juice they could find. Stephen Crane spends all of it inside of Henry Fleming's head, a young man on the Union side of the American Civil War as he is thrust through multiple phases: from the excitement of enlistment to the boredom of encampment, to the clinical self-study of preparation and finally to the fearful experience of battle - fearful enough that he mindlessly runs away. For years the title has been a curiosity to me, only to discover now that its meaning was obvious all along: "He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage."

It surprises me that the author Stephen Crane had no war experience himself. Some content might be the product of imagination, but I have to assume he talked to some of the war's veterans and read their accounts to uncover this many visceral details about the experience of the front-line. Crane is predominantly focused on the initial terror of war rather than its horror, but with a dash of that too. At the halfway point he turns away from confronting the uselessness of war, as the first half seemed to be steering toward. Henry's focusing on that is regarded as a weakness best forgotten. It is subsumed by a portrayal of the strengthening element of personal glory to be won through heroism, fear replaced by anger and pride as the key to a soldier's survival and maturation. Whether war makes any kind of sense is left as an exercise for subsequent authors to tackle. ( )
  Cecrow | May 28, 2022 |
Stephen Crane's classic highlights the psychology of a young man facing the reality of war. Set in the United States Civil War it is amazing in that Crane had no experience in battles of any kind. It made his name as an author and has been a favorite of mine since my days in high school. ( )
  jwhenderson | May 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crane, StephenAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, Carlsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berryman, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binder, HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bottino, PatNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowers, FredsonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, MalcolmEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canga, C.B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covici Jr., PascalIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cummings, SherwoodIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, LincolnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davray, Henry-D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dressler, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engene, GeneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foote, ShelbyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, Donald B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, FrankEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haldeman, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harad, AlyssaSupplementary materialsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herzberg, Max J.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Homer, WinslowIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, AngelaBookbindersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jenseth, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidder, HarveyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaRocca, Charles J.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levenson, J.C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levy, Wilbert J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindsay, JenBookbindersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lubett, DeniseBookbindersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maxwell, John AllanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Misiego, MicaelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mozley, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otero, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paysac, Henry dePréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, Patricia BarrettForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pratt, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichardt, Mary R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, CharlesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sorrentino, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallman, Robert W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suamarez Smith, RomillyBookbindersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vedro, Alfred S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viélé-Griffin, FrancisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watson, Aldren AuldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.
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He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the spring of 1863, while engaged in the fierce Civil War battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia, a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.

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